Now this is a story all about how mediocre is crap.
If you’re wondering where I’ve been, I’m basically under a rock until I pull through the rest of the semester. In hindsight, I should have posted a warning about my ghosting, but you know me. Black woman with a superwoman complex, trying to do it all anyway even though it’s QUITE obvious that I’m sitting in a room of flames whilst sipping tea.
The plan is to at least get back on track for the rest of the month with posts on Sundays. Yall pray my strength so I can make that happen in real life. Forgive me yall.
But, you know I didn’t bring you here just to have me give a regular ass update on my regular ass life.
Keep your mediocrity at home when you decide to enroll in a graduate program. If you have mediocre ‘d your way through a Bachelor’s degree then congratulations, keep your mouth shut, and go do the next phase of life with mediocrity like you’re used to. Silently. But don’t parade your mediocre ass into my class and request to work with me because I’m fire and you know it. Leave. Me. TF. Alone.
Here are some suggestions I have for avoiding the trap of being mediocre and also how to not be an unwilling participant in parades of mediocrity.
Know Before You Speak
It is quite draining to be in a discussion based course where no one knows wtf they’re talking about. I’m not gonna pick on those who genuinely don’t know and prefer to stay quiet. But I’m talking about the loud and strong alto ass classmate who literally drags the class section to hell talking about shit that makes ABSOLUTELY no sense. Like, I realize that you know you need participation points, but this is not how you do it. You’re wasting my damn tuition dollars running your hot, useless, breath.
Which leads me to my next point:
Read Your Damn Course Material
I know sometimes people forget to do readings. Shit happens. But there’s no reason why you come to class every other week not having read a simple 15-page chapter in a basic ass textbook about student affairs concepts. When I was an Africana Studies MA student I was reading a book a week for classes. YALL PLAY ALL DAMN DAY. You couldn’t even skim sis?? UGH.
Don’t Let People Latch Onto You Because You’re a Star
Undergraduate student leaders turned grad students are quite good at this. When they were in UG, they were on 5 student club executive boards, occasionally went to the library to print material they didn’t read, and still managed to maintain a solid 3.35, all while doing NOTHING. Appearing busy but they hardly show up to E-board meetings, having friends give them answer keys for the “Easy A” courses everybody knows about, and they’re in every professor’s office at the end of the semester begging for extra credit with a sob ass story that wouldn’t be true in any lifetime. Mediocre. But they show up for the photo ops tho! They probably have their picture from the school website saved as their cover photo.
Go To the Fucking Writing Center
I really don’t understand why people won’t go to writing centers. If Microsoft Word is underlining the shit out of your paper content, you need to go to the writing center because Microsoft Word doesn’t even catch the deep stuff. I see why your professors are tired of your shit. Me just working one on one with someone who couldn’t write to save the last of humanity sent me to the wine bottle.
It comes across as not giving a damn when you submit shit that’s laced with foolishness and hasn’t been proofread. I’ve been guilty, but I really try my best not to do that, especially since I know my attention abilities don’t always catch things the first three times. But how do you submit some cryptic shit that the person reading your paper has to decipher and you wanna be mad about your grade? YOUR CONTENT DOESN’T MEAN SHIT IF I CAN’T READ IT. Furthermore, usually when your writing isn’t shit your content isn’t either. So, it’s a mediocre attempt. Sorry bro.
Stop Lying Sis.
Like when homegirl told me she couldn’t start creating our Google Presentation because she was locked out of her school email, even though I asked her to do it the day after she claims she was locked out. She waited bout 4 days to tell me about this problem. Mediocre habits. And the school email had been working for everybody else up until the day she mentioned it.
We are all adults at this point. We know you don’t care about this class, and we know that you’re just here to get a promotion on your job. The key is, we aren’t supposed to be able to tell so easily. Don’t lie about why you couldn’t complete as task. Recently, I reached out to my professor about my group project to say, quite frankly sis, my partner ain’t been doing shit, they aren’t sending me information on time, and my anxiety is getting really crazy as a result. I CANNOT do this. Boom. Got an extension. Sometimes it’s not that simple, but sometimes it really is.
Save yourself the stress of maintaining a lie. I’ve gotten more extensions in grad school than I ever got in undergrad 1. because I asked more, and 2. Because professors know we’re adults with real lives 3. Half the time they know they aren’t going to look at any of these papers for at least another week and a half. Do what you gotta do and stop pulling people’s energy with your weak “my dog ate my homework” ass lies. Stop being mediocre.
Communicate With Your Professor
Ima be honest, I’m unmoved by the concept of group work in grad school, particularly at the PhD level. But if you must, you must. It would be great if group projects taught and evaluated us on how well we work in groups, but it doesn’t. What tickles me about group work is that everybody hates it, but no one admits to being the reason why the shit goes to flames in the first place.
You’re basically in survival mode tryna make it through grad school. These are different stakes. Do not take an L in the name of trying to maintain the peace or just get something done for a grade. Let that professor know exactly what is going on, be detailed, and they will be able to come to a conclusion for themselves when it comes time to grade. Also, for those of us who have had the pleasure of writing group papers, it is actually easy for someone to tell when there are more than one authors for assignments like this. The plummet in quality is often obvious, even if someone else tried to edit it.
This also applies to you falling behind on assignments that aren’t related to group work. Communicate, because would you know otherwise if your professor is the extension granting type?
So, you’ve read this, what next?
DO. THESE. THINGS.
And please understand that they do not have to take time. Start TUHDAY. Now. Download Grammarly and add the extension to your web browser. Start understanding what is unacceptable in real-world sentences. You do not HAVE to be here. But you are here. Do the work. And if you can’t, there is no reason to stay shut about it. Try your best to communicate something, and with enough time. You must give people enough time to make adjustments for you because everyone has a life. If it’s two weeks out and it seems like a harrowing task, you probably need to start typing that email or requesting that meeting. The takeaway from this is to GROW UP and start taking control of your shit.